Bon Mots and Cheap Shots

I can’t sleep, ’cause my bed’s on fire

Two weeks ago a young black man was shot and killed in Walnut Creek. He was 24 years old, suffering from mental illness. He’d gone off the rails and was threatening his family. He had a 4 foot pry bar in his hand. And a Budweiser. His grandmother called the police and then his mother called the police. And then several neighbors called the police.

Previously he’d had eight separate contacts with the police. Nothing bad ever happened. The crisis officers were able to calm him down. He was a very sick young man. He ran out with the pry bar in his hand and was shot dead by the Walnut Creek Police.

Graphic, contains the man’s shooting

This is a beyond tragic situation. The insanity defense is designed for people like him. He was a very sick young man. After watching the video, I really think the police may have had some better options, but with the state of policing in America they acted within the parameters of their training. I don’t think that’s a good thing. I wonder what was going on in his head when he went off the rails like that. What did he see? What did he hear? Certainly nothing that was on that video. Something that was only in his own mind.

In this community there are a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks. I’ve seen comments like “He was responsible for his actions”. No, not if he was mentally ill and the voices were telling him to fight the aliens or the vulcans or whatever. “It was a CLEAN SHOOT” is the most offensive to me. He wasn’t firing at them, so they shot him down like a rapid dog. Did you mean they got off a clean shot and killed him? Which brings us to the real question “What gives the police the right to be judge, jury and executioner?”

There is always way more to the story than we hear in the media and nine times out of ten that story is a narrative rather than the truth. We now have the Walnut Creek Police Department’s narrative in the above video. The young man cannot give us his. His family has retained Burris which has sent all the right wingers off the deep end. At the end of the day, the cops shot and killed another young black man.

My guess from what I see is that the one cop fired the bean bag round and everyone else fired actual rounds. You see there’s an unspoken thing that happens in policing. Once a round is fired, they empty their weapons. That’s not in their training, it’s just one of those things that goes with the job. If you don’t empty your weapon you’re looked on with a suspicious eye.

The problem is there were two crisis officers there. The officers knew his name. They’d dealt with him before. And then they shot him down.

The other thing our community seems to have lost is the tragedy in it all for the young man’s family. A young, sick man was killed. Shot down on the street by the police who were supposed to protect him. A grandmother, mother and whoever else was present heard, if not saw the young man’s life end right there in front of them. Even if they were in a house or around the corner they hear all of those shots. They knew their boy, the little boy they raised, the little boy that struggled as a man, the young man with demons distorting his world was shot. Just imagine hearing the gun shots ringing out and knowing, it was your grandson who took those bullets.

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